CBBM Lecture "Engram patterns" by

Prof. Dr. Nikolai Axmacher,

Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience,

Department of Neuropsychology,

Ruhr University Bochum


will take place on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 from 17:15 to 18:15 hours in CBBM Building, EG, Room 50/51.

Host: Prof. Dr. Nico Bunzeck
Institute of Psychology I
University of Lübeck


How can we identify the neural representations of specific experiences, or “engrams”, in the human brain? Can these results shed light on possible early disease processes in subjects at genetic risk of Alzheimer’s dementia? Using intracranial EEG recordings in epilepsy patients as well as simultaneous EEG/fMRI recordings, we found that stimulus-specific representations are reinstantiated during memory retrieval and spontaneously reactivated during awake resting state and sleep. Furthermore, analyzing content-specific representations may be clinically relevant to identify early pathophysiology in Alzheimer’s dementia. Using fMRI in genetic risk carriers for Alzheimer’s disease, we observed impaired entorhinal grid cell-like representations and altered navigational strategies. Together, these studies shed light on the neural basis of intact and disturbed content-specific representations in humans.


Nikolai Axmacher is head of the Department of Neuropsychology at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology, at the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. He graduated in 2005 from the Humboldt University of Berlin and conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Epileptology, University of Bonn, Germany. In 2009, he received his venia legendi (Habilitation) in Cognitive Neuroscience from the Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn. In 2011, he became an Emmy Noether group leader at the Department of Epileptology and a Junior Research Group leader at the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn. Nikolai Axmacher’s investigates the neural mechanisms of memory functions in healthy participants and their dysfunctions related to Alzheimer’s disease and posttraumatic stress disorder. He uses a combination of functional MRI, simultaneous EEG/fMRI and intracranial EEG recordings in epilepsy patients.